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Supernatural Season 15 meta

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Thoughts about Spn 15x01

SPOILERS AHEAD! BEWARE!

And off we go into the final season of Supernatural. Am I ready? Of course not. And it will probably take some time to really let it sink in that we only have one season of Supernatural left. Though the season opener was… well… it was there. There have been better season openers to be honest and oddly enough I felt the stakes weren’t high enough. 14x20 left me really exited for season 15 and there is definitely a lot of potential, but I don’t think this episode used it well. There were some obvious throwbacks to the pilot and the earlier seasons, with some well known ghosts coming back like the Woman in White or Bloody Mary (though it was odd to see them portrayed by different actors), Dean calling the Woman in White ‘Casper’, the final shot from the trunk etc. We will probably see more of those references to earlier season throughout all of the remaining episodes, and while I like some nostalgia and meta storytelling, there is a risk of overdoing it. The final season should not feel like a best of album but should instead tell its own story. So far it looks like the biggest problem is the ghost apocalypse (and judging by the promo for 15x02 we will spend at least one more episode with it) but I think Sam is wrong in believing that once they get rid of the ghosts they are free and Chuck will no longer be their problem. This feels too easy, and as I wrote before the stakes are not high enough. For now though three billion ghosts will do. And as always, let’s take a closer look at the episode.

Ghost Town

Ok, why didn’t they play this song, it would have been so fitting? (And for the record I mean the song by The Specials) And speaking of music choices, while I do love “Famous Final Scene” I don’t think it was fitting for that fighting scene at the beginning. They had used that song before in 9x10, while Dean buried Kevin, so this song will be forever linked to me with that scene instead. And just, why would the souls escaping hell need a body anyway? I mean they are ghosts? Demons I get, and I guess there are more than just Belphegor wandering around on earth by now.

Speaking of Belphegor: it seemed liked they wanted to have Alex in the episode, but to leave Jack’s fate uncertain for now. And look I really liked Belphegor and the way Alex portrayed him, but he was also a bit of a Deus Ex Machina. He just happened to be there, just wanted the exact same thing as the Winchesters (getting all the souls back to hell) and just happened to know the exact spells to help them. Is he really just the friendly demon from the neighbourhood or is there more to him? And while Sam and Dean can work with him, because they need him, Cas can’t even look at him, wearing Jack’s face.

It seems like Cas is the one who hit Jack’s loss the most, though obviously Sam and Dean mourn him as well. But he was Cas’s responsibility from the beginning, and sure enough Dean feels the same way, as he is still angry at Cas for not telling them the entire truth about Jack and how his missing soul affected him. (Sam and Cas on the other hand just seem fine… almost like Cas and Dean’s relationship is different or something *cough*)

Nightmare

And speaking of homoerotic subtext, because that was the other thing they used Belphegor for. It was no coincidence he was paired with Dean, and then talked about a giant Phallus he used to worship and how good looking everyone is (while a male same sex couple walked by) and complimenting Dean. Was any of this necessary for the plot? No. So there must be another reason why it was in the episode. But then we had Belphegor also complimenting Dean for his skills as a torturer, referring to his time in hell. Why would they bring this up again? It seems too important to be just a random reference to a past storyline, so it might be important again in the near future.  

The other thing we learned about hell is that Chuck had opened all the doors, including the Cage, so it is not just ghosts and demons they are dealing with. Dean immediately thinks about Michael (Adam who?), but I actually though that Jack had destroyed Michael, not just put him back in the cage. So with Dean’s time in hell mentioned and Michael possible free again we have two of Dean’s worst nightmares.

Which brings us to Sam and his mysterious wound. It should be noted that of course it was Sam dealing with the Killer Clown (facing his nightmare as well) and that Sam was saved twice by Cas (first when he shot the ghost, then when he healed Sam). Does that mean we should be worried for Sam? I mean more than usual? And is it just me or does Cas know more about Sam’s wound but Sam prevented him from talking about it? For a moment it seemed like Sam saw a vision, red light in the bunker, Dean begging, Sam with a cruel smile. Sam’s worst nightmare is still Lucifer and that look on his face did remind me of Lucifer!Nick in 5x04. Do both Winchesters have to face their worst nightmares? Is Chuck playing tricks with their minds? Either way, the wound looked infected and there was no exit wound as well, plus Cas felt some bad energy, which is never a good thing.

Blast from the Past

In their final conversation in the episode they talk about the consequences of all the ghost coming back. I think Sam is right, it does not erase what they did in the past, they still saved people, their lives/work still has value. But Sam also thinks that Chuck is gone by now, maybe on another earth, bored by their story now. He thinks that once they deal with all the ghosts they are free, that they finally can make their own choices. I don’t believe it is that easy. Chuck will be back and well, he is still God, so the odds aren’t that good. Of course the ghost symbol that this season more than ever Sam and Dean have to fight their own past; we know of several characters from the past that will come back, some of them surely to haunt them. They need to deal with their own history, with their new knowledge about everything that has happened in their lives. They need to go back to have a chance for the future.

 

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Thoughts about Spn 15x02

SPOILERS AHEAD! BEWARE!

So, round two. And we are still not any closer how to get rid of all the ghosts. All the solutions so far have been temporary, and while the episode moved the plot along it also felt kind of redundant. If anything the episode raised a couple of questions, which will probably become more relevant once the season moves along. And as usually with Bucklemming episodes I felt the episode had at least 2 or 3 characters too much, that again kind of felt redundant as well. All in all it felt like one of those “you can skip this one”-episodes, once we all will start our rewatch.

But, as always, let’s take a closer look.

Ghostapocalypse: The Return

See, I’m still not invested in the whole ghost storyline and now we will get 3 episodes dealing with it. While last week’s ghosts were somehow connected to the Winchesters, I don’t see this pattern in this week’s episode. The ghost that is featured most prominently is the one of Francis Tumblety aka ‘jack the Ripper’. The name would suggest a connection to our Jack, though I don’t see why. However he is quite literally connected to Rowena: they used to date back in the day. More so all of Francis’s victims were women. It seems like they both even back then were aware of each’s other dark secret: that Rowena is a witch and Francis a serial killer. But unlike Francis Rowena has changed and works together with hunters now. Will she be the key to get all the ghosts back to hell? Will she sacrifice herself in order to do so? (The promo for next week suggests so)

It was also Francis who brought up the theme of the episode (perhaps the season?): doors. The warding is a door and door can be opened. Some of the town’s people sneaked into that door, despite being told not to (and died because of it). Last episode we learned that all the doors have been opened in hell, including the cage, so Michael will (possibly) be free as well. The (temporary) solution to deal with ghosts is to trap them again. Belphegor creates a door inside the warding so Kevin can leave. Kevin himself is not free to go where he wants: he can only stay on earth or return to hell. He is trapped as well.  And there is of course the return of Amara, who once has been sealed away by Chuck, who is now facing the same fate: he is trapped inside our world because he is too weak to leave. So yeah, doors/being trapped will be a big theme this season I guess.

And speaking of Kevin: why would Chuck make an exception for both John and Bobby but would then send Kevin to hell? What did he gain in that? Or was there some sort of risk in sending Kevin to heaven? Unless this plot development becomes relevant again I feel Kevin’s return was… useless. He could not help the Winchesters and we only learned that Chuck broke his promise and is a dick, which we already knew before, and now Kevin’s fate is to wander the earth as a ghost. I get it, it is the last season and they probably try to bring back as many guest stars as they can, but it should be relevant to the plot you know. The only thing we learned is that there isn’t a solution to every problem and sometimes you have to accept that, which might be a bit of foretelling of what is to come for the Winchesters. (Also, both Sam and Dean have been to hell, so does that mean they can’t go to heaven as well?)

Cogito, ergo sum

Let’s get philosophical (trust me, it’s fun). In the perhaps best scene of the episode Dean and Cas have a short conversation, showing us that Dean is still angry at Cas for what happened with Jack and Mary and that he is in an existential crisis. After he learned the truth about Chuck Dean questions everything. To him his entire life has been a lie and none of his choices are his own. Cas however sees the entire situation different. While Chuck might have designed the obstacles of their lives, their choices, their feelings are very much their own. To Dean’s question what is real his answer is ‘We are’. Of course the ‘we’ might refer to all of Team Free Will, but in that very moment only Cas and Dean are present. The subtext of that scene is Dean asking whether his feelings for Cas are real or yet another manipulation by Chuck, and Cas reassuring him that they are real, that everything between them, their bond, their feelings, are real.

Personally I do believe Cas is right. It is true that Chuck has designed the story, the life of Sam and Dean Winchesters, and that he did manipulate them to act in a certain way. However he has no control over their feelings. Otherwise he could have forced Dean to kill Jack. Dean acted on his own, against Chuck’s intention. While Dean has no control over what is happening to him he has control over how he feels about it. His feelings and his choices are still his own. Which is pretty much how life works: we can’t control what is happening to us but we can control how we react to it.

But speaking about things that are not what they seem: what is the deal with Belphegor? After last week everyone agreed that there is more to him, and that he might not be who he says he is. Though I’m not sure he is indeed someone else, there is definitely something sketchy about him. We learn that another demon named Ardat is after him and that apparently he is a terrible threat to humanity. Dean doesn’t seem to trust him either and if we can trust anything than it is Dean’s bullshit sensor. Also Belphegor claims he is just a good soldier, the same way Dean once said he is a good son (which given the way John raised his sons means the same as being a good soldier), the same way Michael once said he is a good son. Along with Belphegor admiring Dean’s work as a torturer there is definitely a connection between these two.

You are the yin to my yang

This episode also marks the return of Amara. Yeah. She is living her best life, mostly because she got rid of her brother. While these two made their peace it is not like they are friends. Amara has neither forget nor forgiven what her brother has done to her. She sees right through him, realizing that he only wants to spend time with her because he needs her. We learn that Sam was right in his assumption that now that the Winchesters know the truth Chuck got bored and wants to leave this world, however he is too weak to do so. He needs Amara’s help, who in return has no intention to help him, leaving him trapped the way he had sealed her away for so long. Amara says Chuck can only do parlor tricks and has no real power. While Chuck is weakened I think he is still a threat to the Winchesters. And perhaps the only one who can defeat him is still Amara, who might become an ally to the Winchesters.  

On a meta level we had chuck calling the Game of Trones ending ‘great’. Personal feelings aside in general most people would not agree with Chuck. This is yet another sign that Chuck is not a good writer. Most people criticized that the ending of GoT felt too rushed, with the characters acting out-of-character. Which is exactly what Chuck wanted: to see the ending he wanted despite having characters acting against their nature. If Chuck would have understood Dean as a character he would have known that Dean could never kill Jack, despite manipulating the story in every way for that to occur. Whenever you write a story you have to accept that stories create a life of their own and as you move on what you had planned to happen might not feel right anymore.

In that regard I think it is quite interesting what Andrew Dabb said about Chuck in a recent interview:

And the type of writer he is, I don’t think that’s a very good type of writer … A good writer will tell you that if you write good enough characters they’ll go their own way and talk to you themselves. And we’ve seen that on Supernatural with Sam and Dean over the years.  I think Chuck is the kind of writer who just wants his characters to do what he wants them to do and he gets frustrated when they – because they have a little bit of agency – kind of refuse.

Source

The other odd couple we had this episode were Rowena and Ketch. Which I think was another Bucklemming thing, because they like to bring back the characters they invented and they love some sexy times I guess. I still don’t get why Ketch was there at all and why in the world Rowena would be attracted to him. I mean he tortured her, reason enough to transform him into a toad or something.

Also, why couldn’t Cas heal Ketch? He had no problem healing Sam last episode. Is Cas getting weaker or has this something to do with Ketch? Is he hiding something as well?

Guess we will find out eventually. Til next week <3

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Thoughts about Spn 15x03

SPOILERS AHEAD! BEWARE!

Soooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo… This episode man. I’m having emotions. Several of them. I love me some angst and well this episode delivered. Though I think that the promo for this week’s episode kinda spoiled the big character death at the end, so I really thought they might go another way. This episode focused on big character moments, with the Ghostapocalypse functioning as a vehicle for those moments. We do say goodbye to quite a few characters (though some just temporarily), so next week we will shift from an ensemble cast back to Sam & Dean, and what looks like a classic monster-of-the-week-episode, though given it is the last season there might be more to it. We will see. Until then, let’s have a closer look at this week’s episode.

Ketch me if you can

Let’s start with Ketch, who… well dies. And unfortunately next to Rowena’s big sacrifice you almost forget his death. Which felt a bit underwhelming to be honest. First of you don’t expect a hunter/former Men of Letter/ assassin to be killed by a demon. Why was there no protection in the hospital? No devil’s trap, nothing? And of course ketch died in the way we would not have expected of him: sacrificing himself to protect Sam and Dean. Which of course should show us how far he has come, how much he has changed, in particular by the Winchesters. And yet it kinda felt cheap, not only because we saw similar death scenes before or it felt too easy for Ardat to kill Ketch, but because Ketch’s death scene has to live up to Rowena’s and naturally he loses against that competition.

If anything Ketch’s death was yet another reminder that this is the last season, so the show tries to wrap up as many story and character arcs as they can, though I hope we will see other endings than characters who sacrifice themselves. You just can’t let them all die. And as mentioned Ketch’s death follows a pattern, we have seen characters like him and deaths like his before. Characters who start out as antagonists, become better through the Winchesters and end up giving their life for them: Meg, Crowley, and now Ketch and Rowena.

 Like I said it kinda felt cheap, using the same trope over and over again, though perhaps this is yet another meta level. We have Dean pointing out that the Ghostapocalypse feels sort of sloppy and not like the ending they deserve. There were many complains among fans that this particular storyline did not feel scary or threatening, and that is perhaps the point. Chuck was improvising and turns out he is not as good as a writer as he thinks he is. So perhaps especially in this season whenever a storyline feels constructed or a trope overused this might be intentional. The strongest moments this season where the character moments: because their choices, their feelings, that is what is real. That is what matters.

Lilith Bo-Peep

Speaking of constructed storylines: there just happens to be a magical object that can get all the souls back to hell, you just haven’t heard about it because of reasons. Again the constructed story is a framework for various character moments: Cas and Belphegor’s conversation in hell, Belphegor’s betrayal, Cas who is forced to kill “Jack”, and how Dean used all of this to let out his anger at Cas (more of this later).

What I find interesting about Belphegor is that he used to work as a torturer in hell and he still tortures people, namely Cas, though less obvious. He has an excellent intuition for what would hurt someone the most. He has watched Sam, Dean and Cas only for a few days and yet he figured out their dynamic, knows that something is wrong between them. Of course when Cas tells Belphegor that Sam and Dean only use him and don’t actually care about him he just voices his own greatest fear, and Belphegor knows that and uses it against him.

For a moment it looks like Belphegor might become the new Big Bad (no thanks), so Cas did the only right thing at that moment and kills him, which of course was yet another torture, as Belphegor was still wearing Jack’s body. Cas already blames himself for Jack’s death and now he had to symbolically kill him again. And of course Cas couldn’t have known that this action would lead to Rowena’s sacrifice, so Dean blaming him for that is yet another thing.

Rowena the Brave

I have grown quite fond of Rowena over the years, especially since they moved her story away from Crowley and focused more on her. I’m not sure yet how to feel about her death to be honest. It was a great death scene (with phenomenal acting from both Ruth and Jared), it was a worthy end to her story, and yet I do not like in general killing of female characters, especially powerful, layered and complex female characters. And obviously this death beats her previous deaths because it had happened in her own terms, it was her own choice and she died a hero. I do believe she already had this plan B of hers in the back of her mind, knowing that something could go wrong with plan A. that is why she choose Sam as her assistant, knowing that when worse comes to worse she needed him to kill her.

And what is so interesting is her reasoning for her death. She claims that she does not care about Sam and Dean or the world, at least not enough to give her own life. But she believes in magic and in prophecies. Which actually is the opposite of Team Free Will, of believing in choice and rewriting your destiny. And the thing is, Rowena doesn’t have to die. If the Ghostapocalypse would have happened she probably would have survived, given her resurrection sachet. This is not a situation where she would have died either way, so she chose the one where she at least would save the others. But to her it is clear that everything that is happening is destined to be: the world about to end, her spell that needs the ultimate sacrifice and Sam with her. And of course it had to be Sam; killing herself would not have worked (or so she assumes), for her final death it had to be Sam killing her. And I always thought she took some comfort from knowing it would be Sam who kills her; Sam who would not be unnecessarily cruel. In the end she chose her death and the circumstances of it; Sam only killed her because she asked him to do it.

Rowena’s death mirrors both Crowley’s and Sam’s death, the two men she was closest to. Her final words are almost the same as Crowley’s and she lets herself fall into the open gates of hell the way Sam did in 5x22. Each of them (Rowena, Crowley, Sam) died to save the world, to protect the ones they love. So is this the end of Rowena? I saw some speculation floating around that she could become the new Queen of Hell, which I would approve. And is Sam now getting more into magic? Rowena already claims he is the most magical talented among them. We will see.

Break me up before you go-go

Let’s talk about that final scene between Cas and Dean, shall we? *rubshands* As I already said obviously Cas is not to blame for Rowena’s death. He couldn’t have known that his action would lead to her sacrificing herself. He did the best he could in the situation with Belphegor. So Dean blaming him for Rowena’s death is just an excuse. Dean is angry, at himself, the world, Chuck, and also Cas. But Cas is currently the only one he can throw at his anger. Dean decides for Cas that he is the one who will escort Belphegor to hell, and as Belphegor notices neither Sam or Dean seem to care too much about Cas, giving the risk of the mission.

Everything that happens hits all of Cas’s buttons, all his insecurities at once. He is afraid Sam and Dean don’t care about him and only want him around because he is useful. His powers are fading, which has actually nothing to do with Dean’s behaviour towards him, but to Cas it reads different. He fears he has no place in their family, telling Dean that at least Sam and Dean have each other. With Jack dead, with Chuck seemingly gone, he thinks he no longer has a reason to stay around. All of Dean’s behaviour made it obvious that he does not care about Cas, at least in Cas’s eyes. And on top of that Dean called him ‘wrong’. Cas has always been accused to be wrong, mostly from his angelic family. Too much heart, too close to the humans in his charge. Now his human family has dismissed him as well.

Ironically one of Dean’s greatest fear comes true as well: everyone he loves will leave him eventually. Though of course he is responsible for Cas leaving them. What is interesting about the Dean-Cas-Break-Up-scene is that it is happening at such an early point of the season. All their issues have been addressed and communicated. Dean knows now that Cas is afraid he does not care about him, that he only wants him around when he is useful, that he has no place in their family. It is up to Dean to prove him wrong. All of this need to happen in order for them to overcome their problems, to get to a healthier place in their relationship. Looking forward to it.

Until next week my lovelies <3

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BEWARE! SPOILERS AHEAD!

That was… pretty dark. And unexpected. Unexpectedly dark. I mean I liked the episode for the most part, but it also felt like somebody kicked me. Several times. The actual monster-of-the-week part is… there. It gets interesting in the way that it responds to the characters and the other plot of the episode, Chuck and Becky. Of course Supernatural has long since given up to be pretend there is a fourth wall, so we are meant to see the interactions between Chuck and Becky as those of the Supernatural writers vs the audience. And I really can’t think of any other show that is as self-aware as Supernatural is and who puts that in the actual text of the show. Apart from the paranoid feeling that the creators of Supernatural read all of our Tumblrs, Twitters, etc, it feels much more like a dialogue between creator and audience. But unlike Chuck I would say that the actual creators of Supernatural do listen and care about what the fans have to say. Just like last week’s episode break up between Dean and Cas made me hopeful about their ending, this week’s darker elements made me hopeful about the show’s end. It’s always darkest before the dawn. Where we are now is not where we will end.

But, as always, let’s take a closer look.

“You don’t have children, do you?”

So, let’s start with talking about the atomic monsters of the episode, family Whitman. The Superwiki suggested that the title of the episode might refer to the nuclear family the episode centers around. They are monsters in their own way, not just because Billy was turned into a vampire, but because of the things his parents to do for him. Sam is self-aware enough to admit that they would have done the same for Jack (and for each other) and we have the situation from 14x20 mirrored here in this episode. A child kneeling in front of Dean, waiting to be executed because they turned into a monster. The outcome of course is different; Dean couldn’t kill his own son, couldn’t kill Jack. And I admit I was surprised to see this ending here. I was sure Sam and Dean would have found a different way to deal with Billy, despite him being okay to die, not wanting to kill anybody else. It felt a lot like the black and white morality we saw in the early seasons, where a monster was just that, a monster, with no way to change or redeem themselves. We might come back to this scene later this season: a loved one that asks to be killed, that became a monster, someone who thinks this is the only way to deal with this situation. The outcome though might be different.

Which actually brings us to Sam’s vision at the beginning. I admit at first I thought we saw one of Chuck’s drafts coming to live, reusing an old plotline (Sam’s demon blood addiction). I don’t think this is a vision (because why would Benny be suddenly alive again?) but rather a presentation of Sam’s worst fears. He feels responsible for Rowena’s death and is reminded of everyone else that died because of him (like Jessica). He still feels unclean, still feels he can become evil. Benny wasn’t originally there, Jensen added the character because he liked him so much. But thematically it makes sense: Sam had always been jealous about Benny, so in a dream were his worst nightmares come true of course not only did he turn bad (and killed people he loved like Jody and Bobby) but Dean would abandoned him for Benny. (This is to me another proof that this is not a vision of the future, otherwise the producers would have told Jensen Benny can’t come back for this scene)

And speaking about the future. Sam feels pretty hopeless at the moment. When they started to investigate the case he felt isolated from the normal world, from the seemingly normal family, that is unaware of the horrors Sam and Dean have to deal with every day (while ironically the family was living in their very own horror movie). Sam has given up his dream of living a normal life; “we don’t get normal”. Again, this might mean we get the exact opposite at the show’s end. Supernatural has always played with the idea of the Apple Pie Life, and we saw both Sam and Dean trying to have one and failing at it. In the last seasons however we saw a more balanced approach: they can have a home (the bunker), they can have a family (Cas, Jack, Mary etc), and can still be hunters. Now however their family is either dead or moved on.

And speaking of Cas. Dean, unlike Sam, is more optimistic, falsely believing Chuck is gone and can no longer control them. He says they are free to move on, echoing Cas’s words of moving on, though in a different context. I think that Dean mostly puts on a brave face for Sam; they can’t both be feeling hopeless at the same time, right? But losing Mary, Jack and Cas will leave its trace on Dean as well. He might misinterpret the Cas situation, thinking that now that Cas is free from Chuck’s influence the first thing he does is to leave them. However, as Cas told Dean, he has always been free when it came to his feelings towards the Winchesters. He chose them as his family, that was not Chuck. Right now though he also thinks it is better for everyone to be separated. Dean has to realize that is entirely up to him now to get Cas back.

 “It’s awful! Horrible. It’s hopeless.”

Just when we thought we couldn’t hate Chuck anymore he gives us 3000 reasons more (see, I can make Endgame references as well). Through Chuck we meet a character that I honestly didn’t think we would see again (I guess the final season is the opportunity to bring back every character): Becky. Becky had always been the stand-in for the fans, and not a very flattering one. The show has since then done some damage control. Charlie was a very positive image of someone who is a fan (and I would love for ‘our’ Charlie to meet this improved Becky) and so were the girls doing the Supernatural musical. It is ok to be a fan, to be passionate about something. And Becky represent now a different kind of fan: a grown up married woman with children, who dedicates her little free time to her hobby. There is nothing pathetic about her, the show doesn’t make fun of her or portrays her as a psycho. Becky has grown and is at peace with herself. Just like Amara is by the way. And Chuck is used to control the women in his life, be it his sister or his ex-girlfriend, he needs them to boost up his ego. He no longer has power over Amara, but poor Becky is helpless (and I really really hope she gets her revenge).

Becky in this episode functions at the voice of fans. It is interesting that she is neither dependent on Chuck or worships him and his work, but instead she took the thing that she loves and made it her own. She writes (and we acknowledge that fanfiction is writing as well), she creates. It doesn’t matter to her that Chuck stopped writing the Supernatural books or that he dismisses her own work. She isn’t even afraid to tell him off, to criticize his work. Her commentary on his first draft is pretty much a commentary on the episode itself: the stakes are too low, there is no classic rock, nobody even mentions Cas etc. And that is yet another thing: Becky seems to have changed from a Wincest shipper to a Team Free Wil fan. The message here is pretty clear: this is no longer a show just about two brothers and it hasn’t been for a long time. And more so, what the fans are invested in are the characters, not so much the story. We care about Sam, Dean, Cas, Jack, Mary etc. and because we care, the story gets interesting, not the other way around.

Concerning Chuck’s new dark end, there was also something interesting Chuck said: that he knows the ending but doesn’t know how to get there yet. At Chuck being Chuck means he will bend the story in whatever way he can to get, no matter if it makes sense or not. Which is pretty much what the showrunners on Game of Thrones did, a show which ending Chuck thought was great (spoiler: it wasn’t). Chuck also think that the fact that the dark ending is making Becky feel something is a good sign, which yeah… not so much. Of course a story is supposed to make you feel something, and as a Supernatural fans we are familiar with some angst. However a story ending should not make you feel angry or disappointed. In the best way it should always feel that what you see is the natural conclusion of the story you have read/seen, no matter the genre. Supernatural has long since stopped being a tragedy, a dark and hopeless ending seems no longer fitting. But again, as this is where we are now this won’t be where we will end. Chuck is the villain, therefore his ending should not be what we actually get to see.

Also, it is interesting that Becky mentioned that Chuck channelled Sam and Dean’s story. He pretty much wrote down what he saw, unlike Becky who created her own stories. And now Chuck admits that he no longer has this connection: he can no longer see what Sam and Dean are doing (thanks to his weakened status), so at the very moment they are free.

Looking forward to next week. Until then my lovelies <3

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Thoughts about Spn 15x05

BEWARE! SPOILERS AHEAD!

What an episode. This truly will be the most meta-season ever, that really made me wonder how casual viewers might experience these episodes.  There might be small references, like the fake ID’s they use who we last saw in 1x02, that don’t matter for the plot, and are Easter Eggs for the fans. But take a character like Lilith: though she has been mentioned here and then over the years (last in 15x03) the last time we saw her was in season 4, which is over 11 years ago. People who never rewatched the show and analysed it to death might simply have forgot about her (and the same goes to Becky). At this point we are so far down the rabbit hole you are lost if you haven’t paid attention. Personally I like how self-referential the season is, but I’m curious to know how the general audience receives it.

Just like last week we have a commentary on the episode itself within the episode, with the only difference that by now Sam and Dean are part of the conversation and are now aware that Chuck still writes about them. Like Becky before we have now Lilith who talks about the episode in pretty much the same way the fans do: she analyses the story, draws parallels, talks about “foreshadowing” etc. But while Becky was/is a fan and has seen ‘Supernatural’  always mostly as a story (she realized she loves Sam as a character, not as an actual person etc), Lilith on the other hand has been a character in said story, though she had always been aware that she had a role to play within a story. And in fact Sam and Dean not playing along and expressing free will ruined that story from her perspective. So in a way it makes sense that Chuck would resurrect Lilith, because unlike Sam and Dean she is used to play her part in any given story.

This new reveal will make things very interesting for the next episodes, because once again Sam and Dean have to start questioning everything happening to them and if their choices are really their own. But before we go there, let’s have a closer look at this week’s episode.

“Easy’s good. I like easy.”

Let’s start with Cas, or rather Cas’s absence, because it kinda frames the episodes. After the cold open we see Sam texting Cas, and from his messages it seems like Dean hadn’t told him the exact reason why Cas left (“Didn't realize you were taking off”). So their break up (because that is what the narrative made it look like) is something Dean didn’t feel comfortable enough to share with Sam, indicating that perhaps he does feel guilty about the harsh words he had used and the way he had treated Cas ever since Mary’s death. Still, there is no sign that Dean himself has communicated in any way with Cas. We end the episode with Sam calling Cas, leaving him a message on his mailbox. Not one, but two times the show reminded us that Cas is not around, that something is clearly missing and their little family is not complete.

The case of the week, as Sam at some point realizes, is a bit too easy. There is an eye-witness, who can also name the man who attacked her. It is uber-obvious that werewolves are responsible for the attacks and they are easy to find. In the end the Winchesters didn’t even had to kill them, they did it themselves. Just as easy as the actual case is the meta layer. The werewolves are two brothers, one of them the good son, trying to follow the rules of their late father, not wanting to hurt or kill anyone, the other one a monster, incapable of change. One kills the other, before killing himself. The parallels to Sam and Dean are obvious, as is the foreshadowing. It’s not clever or deep or multi-layered and well… it’s not supposed to. It’s bad on purpose, wanting us to question what is going, with Sam even pointing out that something feels weird. The big reveal – that Chuck is still writing their story – comes shortly after, giving the audience a manual as how we have to perceive the next episodes: with precaution, always aware that what we see is Chuck’s writing.

“He is not exactly Shakespeare”

The thing about Chuck’s writing is that there are some obvious mistakes in it. How is it possible that God had the power to resurrect Lilith from the Empty, when the Empty itself once told us that God has no power over there? Who is lying here and why? Why bringing back Lilith of all people (or rather demons) in the first place? Does Chuck need her for one of his endings? Clearly she has her own agenda and does not like to follow Chuck’s script, just as Sam and Dean.

And again it is obvious that Chuck doesn’t know his own characters. He gave Lilith the order to seduce Dean (why?), oblivious to the fact that that wouldn’t happen for several reasons. Then of course we have Ashley/Lilith telling Dean how great it would be if everything was planned for you, everything in your life already decided. Free will and found family are the two main themes of the series and Chuck ignores both, with dismissing/ignoring Cas and actually thinking he could force Sam and Dean into accepting the roles he had written for them.

We learn what Chuck’s preferred ending for the series is: one brother has to kill the other, after he turned dark side. It is clear by now that what Sam sees in his dreams are not visions of the future but instead visions of Chuck’s possible endings (as many had suspected). We have now seen three visions: in one Sam had been drinking demon blood again and killed Dean (in which Benny was present); in another Sam had become Lucifer’s vessel, with Dean trying to kill him, resulting in Dean’s death; and in the last one we saw Dean once again with the Mark of Cain, killing Sam. We know that Chuck had stopped writing after season 5, so the Mark of Cain storyline isn’t official canon of the books, as far as we know (and neither is Benny). Chuck would know about it, but his readers would not. And it is not just that a character like Benny isn’t official book canon, he is also pretty much dead. Just as Lucifer, which would make it impossible for Sam to become his vessel again (also we only saw Lucifer!Sam wearing a white suit once, which was in the endverse, something Dean had witnessed but not Sam). Then again with the reappearance of Lilith it is possible Chuck might bring back every character from the dead, simply because he wants to. It is obvious that Chuck plays with his greatest hits, but none of the visions Sam has seen so far seems realistic/like something that might actually happen. Then again we shouldn’t trust Chuck as a writer.

Lastly something Lilith told the brothers was quite interesting: that she had only died because she had let herself killed; it was part of her story. Sam and Dean weren’t cleverer than her, she died because she needed to in order for her plan to work. And according to the writers this is something we will see in the next episodes: that so far Sam and Dean had been the heroes because Chuck wrote them that way, but now that will be over. Which will be such an interesting concept. Because over the last years we were so sure that Sam and Dean would always win, always come back from the dead etc, because that is what the story demanded, right? This is what we expect as an audience, so I’m curious to see those character interact without this confidence.

Until then <3

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Thoughts about Spn 15x06

BEWARE! SPOILERS AHEAD!

Uff. What an episode. As we are in the final season everything that happens now feels much more significant. Once again the actual monster plotline (in both storylines) feels just like a means to an end, with the focus on the characters and their relationship with each other. Just like Becky said, the interesting part are the characters, not the monsters. This episode focused more on Sam, specifically his relationship with both Rowena and Eileen, and how both could be important for his future. Meanwhile Cas’s storyline was overshadowed by his recent break up with Dean. The Chuck storyline was on hold, given our boys time to reflect on their recent past.

But, as always, let’s take a closer look.

Fish ‘n’ Clarence

I was curious to see what Cas is up to, because for the first time in a long time he is without a mission. He cut ties with heaven, he thinks Chuck is out of the picture, and he is on break from his new family, the Winchesters, as well. I expected him to still hunt, to still do some good, because that is what Cas does, so I was surprised to see that he is on a break, renting a cabin, spending his days fishing, something Dean enjoys, so clearly he is still on Cas’s mind. It is obvious that Cas is still hurt, from the way he retreats himself, or as Melly said taking yourself out of the game. He makes it look like this is work related as well, but it goes deeper. His expression during his conversation with Dean was that of a jilted lover. He hasn’t read Sam’s messages, or answered his calls, knowing that Sam would ask him questions he is not ready to answer yet. Dean on the other hand expresses his worries, despite everything. Everything about that scene was framed in the way of two people having to talk each other after they broke up; not like two friends or family members who recently had a big fight. And on the other side we had Sam, who had to deal with both Rowena and Eileen, two women he has (subtextual) romantic connections too. A parallel that obviously would not work if we aren’t meant to read Dean and Cas as a romantic couple as well. Everyone is haunted by their (ex) lovers.

The Sheriff, who turned out to be a djinn, is an obvious parallel to Chuck. A man in position of power, who abuses said power, by covering up his own crimes. Cas explicitly calls him out for that, telling him that his power won’t protect him from Cas. Other people smarter than me have already written lots of meta about Cas role in season 15, from Becky explicitly calling out Chuck for not including Cas in his story, and that is ignorance might be Chuck’s downfall. Chuck is so focused on Sam and Dean, that he totally underestimates Cas’s power, the original rebel and breaker of rules. Cas is the embodiment of free will. And in all of Sam’s visions so far (Chuck’s possible endings), Cas played no role. Because in the original events it was Cas who helped preventing that one brother would kill the other. And now Cas has realized that taking yourself out of the game won’t change the game. The only way to defeat Chuck is to become active again. To stop someone else who abuses his power.

Some other things I noticed about Cas: he used the alias ‘Clarence Worley’, a character from the movie “True Romance”. It is possible he simply used the alias because ‘Clarence’ is an alias he used before (and the name Meg had given him). My personal headcanon is however that Dean made him watch “True Romance”, perhaps even explicitly pointing out that one of the characters is named Clarence and it stuck with Cas.  

Once again we see someone shooting Cas, to no effect, reminding us of his angelic nature. And yet, moments later we see Cas healing someone, and how it seems to drain him, something we have also seen before. It might be because heaven is still running on low energy or because Chuck’s weakened state influences the angels as well, we don’t know yet.

And lastly Cas told Melly that monsters are real, just like Dean did last episode with “Ashley”. It is obviously not the first time they told civilians the truth, but I still think it is odd how regularly they do this now.

And don't be afraid of the ghost of love (It'll haunt you as long as you want)

Sam is haunted not by one but two of his (subtextually) lovers. Though I found it oddly touching how much trust both Rowena and Eileen put in Sam. Rowena made sure that only Sam would be able to enter her apartment and obtain her possessions (though perhaps Dean would have been able as well). Eileen reached out to Sam after her death. Sam of course feels responsible for both of those deaths; directly for Rowena’s death as he was the one who killed her (despite her consent) and indirectly for Eileen, who died simply because she knew the Winchesters. It is quite telling then that after an episode that deals with characters haunted by their past we finish it with a woman coming back from the dead, undoing at least one of Sam’s traumas.

Eileen, just as Kevin, landed in hell despite being innocent, and just like him she therefore can’t go to heaven. It implies that this might be a bigger issue, that there are more than just two innocent souls, who do belong in heaven, but are now stuck on earth. The spell Sam uses only works once, because we learn that once Death sees a loophole she closes it (speaking of Death, when will we see Billy, and hopefully Jack, again?).

The way Sam found the page with the spell, by coincidence, reminded me of 7x17, the way Dean accidently found the number of a hunter who would lead him to Emmanuel/Cas, though we later found out it was Bobby’s ghost helping him. So perhaps Rowena’s ghost helped as well? The spell however is not finished and it is interesting to see that Sam by now knows enough about witchcraft to finish it. Sam even reminded us that Rowena was perhaps the most powerful witch, we know how complex her spells usually are, so this means something. And hopefully we will see more of witch!Sam in the future, because that role suits him.

Once again we also have another pair of siblings, that are meant to parallel Sam and Dean, though the parallel does not work out. Sam thinks he can bond with Emily over their older siblings, but where Dean only teased Sam, Jacinda straight out abused her younger sister. Sam offers her a way out, but Emily refuses and instead uses for once the chance to cause pain on somebody else; the abused becomes the abuser. While Emily did not kill her sister she does not wish for her to come back to life either. Yet she can’t withstand her mother; she is unable to break free from her toxic family and in the end all three women are dead. Unlike Sam and Dean, who have learned from their past, and their toxic relationship has developed over the years to a much healthier one.

On a short note, two of the witches are played by actresses who have appeared on the show before, the witch mother and Emily. The actress who played Emily even appeared in season 1 (episode 1x19), back then a child, now a young woman, a nod to how long the show has been on the air. We already had other actors this season who had guest stared before on the show (the couple from 15x04 had appeared – also as a couple – in 1x08) and by now this re-castings feel deliberate, little nods to the long past of the show.

Like I mentioned before we finish the episode with one of the ghosts haunting Sam becoming a living person again: Eileen. There was something quite intimate about the scene, though I didn’t think the fact that Eileen was naked made the scene sexual charged; it was a symbol for her rebirth. But she shared that moment with Sam, she started her new life with him and he is the one who brought her back to life. If they (hopefully) end up as a couple this is quite some story to tell. And yet another parallel to Dean and Cas. Cas brought Dean back from the dead as well, he raised him from perdition.

Sam and Dean still think quite different how to move on, now that they know Chuck is back. Just like Cas Sam thinks that you can’t change the game if you are not part of the game. He still thinks they have a choice, that they can break the rules, that Chuck can’t control everything (like Sam shooting him). Dean feels trapped, wondering what is real and what is not, despite Cas’s answer (“We are”). With both Sam and Cas ready to become masters of their fate again I think it is only a matter of time until Dean finds his spirit again. At least I hope so.

Until then <3

 

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BEWARE! SPOILERS AHEAD!

So. This episode. Which I felt was in many ways a fanservice episode, but not in a negative way (because I don’t think fanservice has to be a negative thing in itself). On the one hand we had Sam and Eileen. Clearly the fanservice already started last episode in bringing back Eileen from the dead in the first place, but this week it became more obvious for what reason: to set her up with Sam, to make her his romantic endgame. I really felt that what had been subtext before became now text. And it wouldn’t make sense to bring Eileen back, to set her up with Sam, and then giving us a tragic ending. It still doesn’t mean we get an overall happy ending, but they wouldn’t go the lengths to bring Eileen back, mark her as romantic endgame for Sam, and then not deliver.

On the other hand we have Dean and his little trip in the past. I’m sure Christian Kane is one of the actors many fans had wished to see on the show one day (given his friendship with Jensen), so yeah, fanservice again. In many ways Dean’s trip to Swayze’s felt like a character study, because the character of Lee felt like a different version of Dean, someone he could have become (minus the monster pet obviously). Just as Sam’s blooming romance with Eileen leads to speculation about his future (and the show’s end), Dean’s confrontation with his old friend told us a lot about Dean, and where his journey might end.

But, as always, let’s take a closer look.

All you have to do is follow three simple rules

Let’s start with Dean and his trip down memory lane. The fact that he left the bunker on his own, working a case, is something Sam considers as progress, and he is right to think so. Ultimately, when it comes to the final confrontation between Dean and Lee, what sets them apart is that Dean still cares. What happens in the world still matters, his job still matters, the lives they save still matter, despite knowing Chuck manipulated them (something Lee isn’t even aware off). Last week Cas found his way back to their mission, now Dean, in time for the midseason-finale next week.

We learn that Dean and Lee used to work together back when John was still alive and Sam at college, so pre-series. It is a reminder of how much time has passed since then and how much Dean has changed since then as well. Lee represents in many ways the Dean from the past. Someone whose dream it was to own a bar, where every night seems like the best night ever, full of drinks and girls. And we can say for sure that at some point Dean shared this dream, because this is something that we saw in 14x10, in the happy dream Michael had Dean trapped in. There he had owned Rocky’s Bar, though it was clear that he had financial trouble and that it wasn’t nearly as full as Swayze’s. And speaking of Swayze’s, it is clear that Dean and Lee share the same taste in movies.

There was some obvious queer subtext as well, where Lee was presented as the ex-lover, a reminder of the good old days, who prevents Dean’s current lover (Cas) from calling him. Earlier we had the sheriff complimenting Dean on his good looks, and we saw Lorna trying to flirt with Dean several times, but with no response. And of course we see that Dean can in fact in sing, when he previously had claimed he could not or sung bad on purpose. We are yet reminded again that Dean puts up a persona, especially around his brother, with the genuine Dean lying underneath.

There are also some signs that Lee’s story doesn’t add up, if you look close enough. He says that after his last hunt he scrounged up what he could and bought the bar, but we know that most hunters barely get by, and obviously we later learn about the real source of his money. Second, he doesn’t seem to be a very good hunter, once Dean brings up the case. He seemingly doesn’t recognize Angela, despite her being a regular at his bar. He suggests the lake as a hiding place for the car, when the junkyard is the more obvious choice (and a little nod to our Bobby). Both times Lorna messes things up for Lee, who symbolically stands between the two men the entire time.

It’s been a while that a human had been the actual villain and that we saw one of the Winchesters kill another person. But to Dean the question whether Lee is a monster or not is obvious. Angela was, as we learn, a good girl. There is simply no justification why Lee chose her as a victim, other than that she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. Furthermore Lee defends his actions that after everything he had done as a hunter he deserves this life, full of fortune and good health. The life as a hunter left him disillusioned; there is so much evil in the world that it doesn’t matter what they do. In fact it doesn’t even matter if he himself does a little evil as well.

And this is the complete opposite of Dean. Dean who still cares, despite having seen the bigger picture, despite knowing the truth about Chuck. Dean who cares about the little people, who thinks that every life he saves matters. And who doesn’t do it for the fame and the glory, who doesn’t think it entitles him to anything, but who does it because someone has to, because despite everything he is still a good person. And of course Dean wants more (always has), and he asks Lee if he has ever regret leaving ‘the life’ behind. And wonders who else is going to care, who else kills monsters and saves lives if he doesn’t. Lee’s answer is that someone else will, which actually reminded me of Sam at the beginning of season 8, who back then had left ‘the life’ behind as well, justifying that someone else would do their jobs.  

And this is interesting when we look towards the show’s end, and where Dean’s journey will end. Because as obvious as Sam’s romantic endgame is with the return of Eileen, it looks like Dean will choose a different path. Lee represents Dean’s past, therefore Dean’s wish to leave ‘the life’ is in the past as well. He can’t stop hunting, because he knows what is out there, because he cares too much. So what does that mean for the brothers? Will they go separate ways, Sam starting a new (domestic) life with Eileen, while Dean still hunts? (Maybe with Cas?) Will Dean perhaps die, but just as Lee he chooses his moment of death? It is still too soon for speculations like this, so just consider me throwing around ideas.

Rubber Soul

I already wrote about Sam and Eileen and the significance of Eileen’s return and what it might mean for Sam’s future, so I leave it with that. And despite Cas having the worst timing (he learned from the best: Sam), I’m glad Cas and Eileen finally meet. Soon they are going to start a self-help-group for people who date Winchesters, I’m sure of it.

There isn’t actually much to say about Sam’s rubber soul. I admit I kinda forget who Sergei is, though it is obvious he doesn’t know Cas very well, otherwise he would have known that Cas would never hurt or even kill an innocent girl. Sam’s connection to Chuck’s memories was a means to an end, finally giving them some insight and some sort of upper hand, ready to make their move next week. What is interesting however is the mentioning of Death and Death’s key, that can open the door to Death’s library. The last time we saw Billy, she was in the Empty with Jack. So it is very likely we will see both characters return and that said key/the library will become important in the future.

Until then <3

 

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Thoughts about Spn 15x08

BEWARE! SPOILERS AHEAD!

I know I’m late, but stuff has happened aka life. And I don’t even remember half of the episode, so sorry in advance if this is a bit messy. Overall I liked the episode and where it left us storywise, even though it had the usual Bucklemming problem that it felt a bit all over the place, with too many storylines crammed into one episode. So, let’s try to untangle them all.

Eileen/ Sam/ Chuck

I felt that the entire Eileen sideplot was unnecessary. I always love to see more of her character and her interactions with Sam, and Sam being overprotective was undeniably cute, but Chuck’s plot to threat Eileen (perhaps hoping she would come alone) felt like… well Yzma’s plan. Either way it was time the  writers could have spent better.

Apart from that the cold open marks Chuck as the villain once and for all. He is a cruel God now, killing innocents for no good reasons. Which again, was not necessary. Sam and Dean never get aware of the massacre he committed, and apart from that he has already been established as the bad guy. Having him killing innocents just for the fun of it puts him more into the category of a monster, instead of a (much more interesting) complex character.

And coming back to Sam and Eileen: Dean gives them his blessing. Because you know Eileen gets the life. Which is a Destiel parallel the size of a neon sign. Speaking of Dean and Cas…

Dean & Cas

There is an obvious rift between the two of them. Cas heals Dean, but does not touch him while doing so (for the first time as far as I remember). Even Rowena immediately realizes that something is off with them and wants them to make up. And then we end the episode with the prospect of Dean and Cas going back to Purgatory, the place that was such a turning point for their relationship. I’m not sure if this is fanservice or if they try to bring back as many iconic places/characters etc as they can in the last season, but they know exactly what they are doing if they bring together Dean and Cas with purgatory. A place that Dean once described as ‘pure’. Time for some purification.

Also Adam asking “Since when do we get what we deserve?” while the camera focused on Dean and Cas. Coincidence? I think not. And speaking of Adam.

Adam & Michael

First of all huge respect to Jake Abel. The way how he both portrayed Adam and Michael, how he switched between the roles, was really impressive. And the entire relationship between Michael and Adam was utterly fascinating. We only know Michael from the Apocalypse-World, who was incredible cruel. Hence Dean’s surprise that Michael lets Adam speak (that one hurt). In the diner he also only kills Lilith, harming nobody else and even makes them forget what they just witnessed, in stark contrast to what Chuck did in the beginning.

Adam and Michael have come to an agreement and Michael seems almost protective of Adam. He isn’t very fond of the Winchesters and the way they treated Adam. (And yes, Dean apologizing doesn’t make up for it, but it is a start) Both have they their issues with their families and so in a way they became each other’s family. And yet Michael still remains in his role as a good son and refuses to believe what the Winchesters tell him about his father at first. He has to see what Chuck did for himself in order to believe him. Just like the god son Dean started to see his father John for what he is, including his mistakes, Michael starts to have doubts about God as well.

I’m curious how both characters will evolve from here on. Adam wants a normal life, though the question is if he can even survive without Michael by now. Remember the state of Raphael’s vessel in 5x03? Though Dean on the other hand took it well after AU-Michael left him. Will Michael become the new leader of heaven, the new God? If they get rid of God the position is vacant. Of course they can’t just kill Chuck, they need to lock him up, just like Chuck did it with Amara once. Does that mean they have to create another Mark, just like the Mark of Cain, because every lock needs a key? Anyway, thematically it fits, as the shows has always been about doors and locks and keys, about opening and closing them.

And speaking of vacant positions…

Rowena

Rowena as the new queen of hell is most definitively fanservice, since fans demanded to see her in that position back when Crowley was still king. And it is interesting that now that Rowena is queen she is in the same position her son once was regarding the Winchesters: she sees them as allies and helps them, something she couldn’t understand Crowley was doing. With Rowena in hell and Michael as a possible new God (though perhaps if the bring back Jack he becomes the new God) the Winchesters would have ties to both sides. We will see.

Until then <3